They say when you celebrate to mark an auspicious occasion; something sweet makes it even more special to share in the happiness and also the food. That’s exactly what I will be doing.
A very happy 1st birthday Cook in a Curry! My blog turns one and to say I’m excited, loving the experience whilst sampling delicious food would be an understatement. I love sharing not just my recipes but also experiences and feel fortunate to have a space where I can connect with the world at large. All revelling in the same passion of good food with a keen eye to try something different in their kitchen makes me feel like a vital part of the process.
For those who have been reading the blog posts’ for a while would know that I do have a sweet tooth. So to be honest I couldn’t contain my delight doing a birthday post that encompasses the word – Kesar Ras Malai. A popular milk based dessert with dumplings soaked in thickened milk flavoured with cardamom and saffron. Sounds indulgent? Well that’s exactly what I’m aiming for with this post!
This dish is most certainly a labour of love; one that fills your senses once you have a spoonful of the milky soaked smooth dumplings laced with cream and the crunch of pistachio or almonds.
The dumplings are made with curdling milk solids, though if you prefer to omit the step a good option would be the use of ricotta cheese instead.
Kesar Ras Malai
For the milk sauce;
800mls whole milk
200gms of condensed milk
100gms caster sugar
¼ tsp cardamom powder
A good pinch of saffron
For the milk dumplings/ paneer;
2 pints whole milk
juice of 2 lemons
For the syrup;
200gms caster sugar
Pinch of saffron
1 tbsp chopped pistachios
Silver edible varakh (optional)
Get all the milk sauce ingredients together in a heavy bottom sauce pan. Bring to a gentle boil for 1 hour 30mins or so until it has reduced by half and is a bit thick. Turn the heat off and cool. Refrigerate until the milk dumplings are ready.
For the dumplings, bring the whole milk to a gentle boil in a heavy bottom non stick sauce pan. Now add the lemon juice and leave it to boil for 30seconds or so until you start to see it curdling. Take it off the heat and strain it through a muslin. Rinse the curdled mix under cold water; this helps it to come together and also takes away any sour taste. Keep the muslin on a sieve and leave to drain through for an hour to get rid of any excess water.
In the meanwhile, bring all the ingredients for the syrup together and bring to a boil.
Knead the dumpling mix well to bring it together. Divide into 6 equal portions and flatten. Tip them into the syrup and cook for 7-10minutes until they are firm.
Remove them from the syrup and cool slightly. Add them to the chilled milk sauce to soak in the thickened milk flavours. Chill the Ras malai for 4-5 hours.
To serve put the dumplings in a bowl with the sauce. Topped with chopped pistachios and silver foil.